Systems integrator Dimension Data plans to enhance its cloud computing offerings by acquiring OpSource, a provider of hosted cloud services.

Dimension Data, an NTT Group subsidiary based in South Africa, traditionally has focused on offering communication services, such as building and managing networks, delivering unified communications services and offering security services. But with an increasing number of customers asking for help with building private clouds and using public clouds, the company has been boosting its cloud expertise, said Brett Dawson, CEO of Dimension Data.

It was attracted to OpSource's automation and orchestration capabilities and particularly how those tools can be used across hybrid public and private cloud systems.

When companies add new servers to their private clouds, they must provision a whole set of capabilities, including memory, software licences, networking and all of their business processes, said Ettienne Reinecke, CTO of Dimension Data.

OpSource has automation and orchestration technology that makes that process easy, he said. In addition, OpSource's tools allow users to extend this automation and orchestration over multiple data centres. Dimension Data plans to offer those tools as a managed service, and its customers will be able to use them in their private or public cloud environments.

Dimension Data also envisions building new kinds of services, such as unified communications offerings, that it can run off of OpSource's platform and deliver to customers. OpSource will become part of Dimension Data's new Cloud Solutions Business Unit.

With so many companies entering the cloud computing business, analysts have been anticipating consolidation. Just a few companies have been bought so far. One of the largest acquisitions was Verizon's purchase of Terremark for $1.4 billion (£870 million) earlier this year.

The companies did not disclose the value of the OpSource acquisition.